Cleaning air ducts is an essential part of keeping the environment of the home healthy and fresh. There are a lot of homeowners who face various health issues due to the dusty environment because they don’t focus on cleaning their home ducts.
That results in the spreading of dust in rooms and your whole place. It is recommended to clean out all the ducts available in your home after every 2nd year. So, the best way to wipe out all your dirt from vents is by using a heavy-duty air compressor.
For this purpose, we need a maximum psi and cfm rate compressor so it can blow all the dirt easily. It is very beneficial for having a large compressor, you can do the jobs quickly, rent it to someone, and also start the duct cleaning business.
Basically, these large compressors are used for operating heavy tools and doing multiple functions at a time. So, our HVAC experts have picked the 5 best air compressors that provide a great job in cleaning the ducts. With the experience of running heavy-duty air compressors, our experts will recommend the best options that you can go for.
Our Top Picks
Expert’s Top Pick: Industrial Air (IV5076055) 60 gallon Air Compressor
Runner Up: Quincy (QT-54) 60 Gallon Vertical Air Compressor
Best Vertical Design: Campbell Hausfeld (XC602100) 60 Gallon 2 Stage Air Compressor
Best Quiet: Ingersoll Rand SS5 60 Gallon Air Compressor
Best Portable: California Air Tools (15020C ) Air Compressor
#1: Industrial Air (IV5076055) 60 gallon Air Compressor
Industrial air with a big-sized tank of 60 gallons is a great option for throwing all the dirt from the vents. It provides maximum pressure up to 170 psi which helps in running maximum pneumatic tools effectively. The unit is a bit heavy, a single person can’t lift it easily. The great thing that amazed us is the anti-heat protection for the motor that keeps it cool and prevents it from burning or getting worse.
With 13.5 cubic feet per minute (cfm) airflow the compressor does an exceptional job by kicking out every dirt particle from the vent. Its large tank capacity of 60 gallons helps to run air tools, even heavy ones for long hours. This ultimate machine is not only best for cleaning purposes, but it also provides a perfect experience in operating the sander smoothly. We’ve used it for 6 months to get a detailed idea about its performance, how much time it takes to refill, what’s the noise level while running, and, how hot the unit gets after completing a hard or easy job.
Finally, we received this Industrial Air compressor in our garage. The device looks giant as compared to the compressor that is available in my garage collection. It comes in a dark black color and seems to be waiting for us so we can quickly run this tool.
First, we completely remove all the pressure from the tank to record the total time it takes to fill it. So, we started the stopwatch and the compressor started filling pressure. It takes 3 minutes and 50 seconds to fill a 60-gallon tank, which is very surprising for us.
Similarly, we noted the temperature after getting a hard job of running 3 air sanders at a time. The machine does not get too hot, we took our laser thermometer to check its temperature and it was 90 Fahrenheit. It’s very normal if we compare the tool size. It means you need not worry about overheating the device because thermal protection is installed in it.
Our experts analyzed multiple discussion platforms, including quora and Reddit, where people talk about compressors’ loudness. According to us, we should ignore the noise if it is loud because we have to run many tools with just a single unit. We also noted its noise levels using a sound meter and the reading on the scale was 85 decibels.
At last, we tested it by cleaning our home ducts. Attached a long hose pipe to reach all the ends of the vent and turned on the compressor. It starts throwing out all the dust from the vents, we continue to push the hose inside and at the end, all the dirt got collected at the exit of the duct. Now, it looks clean and we feel the internal environment of our home is fresher. This industrial air tool is a great option for every kind of work.
What We Like
- Much easy to operate
- Easy owners manual to understand the setting
- Incredible pressure for performing hard jobs easily
What We Don’t Like
- Not portable
Runner Up #2: Quincy (QT-54) 60 Gallon Vertical Air Compressor
It becomes unbearable when you are sitting at home and feel the smell of the smoke all day. This is because when a high amount of dirt is collected in the ducts of your home. It makes the inner home air unhealthy and also stops fresh air from coming inside. You can get rid of both dirt and smoke smells issues by properly cleaning ducts. To do this, you will need a tool or air compressor that can help to get out all the dirt from your house ducts.
The second great option we have for you is the Quincy 60 gallon air compressor which is an expert in doing these types of works. This big-sized vertical compressor has a beautiful design with attractive blue color. It provides excellent working on 175 psi that fully operates all your pneumatic tools. For quick starting of the compressor, a start capacitor is installed in it.
As a stationary unit, this device isn’t easily moveable because of its heavyweight weight of 475 pounds. It means you have to place it in a single place or your garage and do all the piping to use it where you want. There is no need for a battery but an electric connection of 230 V is required to operate the tool.
We’ve used this Quincy model and successfully cleaned 3 – 4 ducts of our homes. Let’s explore what things we have experienced while cleaning ducts.
One of our homes all time fills with a smoke smell, and there is too much dust in the duct that is making breathing difficult. So, we decided to clean these ducts with the help of Quincy brand air compressors. It’s a very heavy unit that can’t be easily moveable but for this job, we have to go for this option.
We fixed the unit in a place that was close to the ducts and attached a long hose that will help us in pushing maximum dust from the vents. There are three duct main openings in the home and we cleaned each one by one.
Finally, turn on the compressor and it takes 4 minutes and 50 seconds to reach a maximum pressure of 175 maximum psi. Now, enter the hose in the duct and it starts blowing all the trash and dirt at full speed.
It took 30-40 minutes to clean one part of the duct because it is filled with dirt and debris. With a 60-gallon tank the compressor was still not empty and next we cleaned all the remaining ducts within 2 hours.
The compressor does not irritate while running and it is not too loud. We’ve recorded its sound level on the meter and that was 73 decibels. So, you can easily do all the jobs even if the compressor is running.
On the temperature side, this is a great option because it never overheats and there is no tension of motor burning or system shutdown. The temperature we noted after 5 minutes when the compressor fills 175 psi pressure is about 80F.
As a lubricating device, we need to change its oil after the completion of every 100 hours job. This unit proves that it is our best selection, you can obviously go for it.
What We Like
- Can run multiple tools at a time
- Maximum airflow rate
- Coverless space
- Easy to run
What We Don’t Like
- A bit pricey
- Difficult to move
#3 Campbell Hausfeld (XC602100) 60 Gallon 2 Stage Air Compressor
If you own a factory or a house and a big duct system is installed in it then there would be an issue for you to call the cleaners and pay them every time. In addition, many people are exhausted due to mice in their home ducts that result in damage to clothes and also spread unhealthiness if they start eating your food in the kitchen. A duct is a favorite place for a mouse to live and if it is doesn’t cleaned for a long time, they may increase in number. That’s the reason we recommend cleaning the duct before a year.
A great DIY method to clean your ducts is through a high-pressure air compressor. Campbell Hausfeld’s this model is a perfect choice for cleaning your ducts. This is an oil-lubricated device that needs a proper amount of oil for normal functioning. For getting highly compressed air there is a two-stage system installed in it. With a cfm of 7.6, you can able easily remove the whole debris from the duct.
You must be careful while unloading this unit because it is heavyweight, 3-to 5 persons are required for transporting this tool weighing 255 pounds.
This Campbell Hausfeld (XC602100) is the latest model and there are no upgradations are made to it. We’ve operated it for almost 5 months and perform different jobs, it never disappoints in giving high operation and running several tools at a time with full power.
It is excellent for running sanders, paint sprayers, nailers, drilling machines, filling tires, and other air tools. But, our main focus is on checking its performance while cleaning ducts and that’s why we cleaned 15-20 ducts to get a clear idea about the working.
This compressor has done an extensive job when we entered the air hose into the duct and turned on the switch. All the dust started blowing out and within 15-20 minutes all the area was cleaned. Moreover, everything including little scrap and mouse had gone away. After some hours, we felt a big change in the environment of our apartment. It was summertime and the temperature drops some degree when we do this cleaning.
We also used this air compressor for painting our cars, it gives good pressure and runs for a long time. It is a little noisy as compared to the others that we mentioned above. The noise level of the decibel meter was 80 decibels, it’s not too loud. There is no overheating issue we noticed while using this tool, it stays cool and runs for long hours.
Our team had a great experience with this product and also recommend going for this option. We also want to share some good and bad things that faced during the use.
What We Like
- Vertical design that covers less space
- Very simple to use
- Maximum pressure and airflow
What We Don’t Like
- Little louder
#4: Ingersoll Rand SS5 60 Gallon Air Compressor
You can’t become successful in removing dust from the ducts if a compressor is used with low pressure and cfm. This work needs maximum pressure that can able of removing a large amount of dust from the vent. A less psi compressor can also do this job but a point comes when the duct is long and tone of dust is collected inside. So, for this work, a high psi compressor is required and we would say Ingersoll Rand SS5 60 gallon compressor is a great choice.
This is the first unit that can provide hundreds of job hours at a maximum pressure of 175 psi. It comes with a beautiful design and due to the vertical shape, it takes less place. We’ve seen a thermal protection unit is also installed to save and increase the life of the motor.
There is no rocket science needed for running this tool, just turn on the air compressor switch after making all the fittings. A belt guard is also attached on the top that helps in saving your clothes that may accidentally get stuck in the wheel or belt. That’s a great addition! Let’s go deeper and know-how we tested this Ingersoll Rand model.
We have an auto garage where several cars, jeeps, and trucks are painted. There is a duct system also installed in that area and when opened to see what’s inside, we are shocked. A bunch of dust is collected in the duct and we finally understand why the garage temperature is going high day by day. So, we decided to clean the duct for getting fresh air inside.
For a long time, we are researching the best compressor that can do this type of job perfectly and also run other tools as well. After reading hundreds of discussions and analyzing different heavy-duty air compressors we got Ingersoll Rand SS5 which seems to be a master for pressure cleaning.
This is the final version of this model and we found no major improvements. It arrived in a big truck and we 3-4 persons transported into the garage because of 309 heavyweight. Finally done all the settings, fixed all the pipings, and attached a long hose for duct cleaning purposes.
First, we drained this unit completely to count its total filling time. The compressor takes 4 minutes and 25 seconds to reach 175 maximum pressure. In the next step, we entered the hose in the duct area and switched on the air compressor. The debris started coming out from the duct at a great speed and within 25 minutes all the area was cleaned.
Some tests we’ve done on this unit while running include its temperature, loudness, vibration, and amperage. The temperature was normal when the compressor is operating and there are no chances of overheating because a thermal overload safety system is installed in it. It provides a quieter job as we record the noise level on the decile meter as about 78-80 decibels.
One issue that many users face including us is its amperage. Ingersoll Rand this model claims an amperage of 30 amps is required to properly run the tool. But on the ground when we tested the amperes at starting and running time, there is a big difference. The amperes goes up when starting and because of an automatic breaker installed in it, sometimes the compressor auto shut off.
To fix this problem we contacted their customer support and they are surely very nice. They responded quickly and helped to sort out this issue. Due to the warranty, we got this issue fixed. Overall we are satisfied with its working and especially happy for its incredible job for cleaning ducts.
What We Like
- Run quietly
- Provide high pressure
- Auto shutoff when the pressure reaches a maximum level
- Good warranty
What We Don’t Like
- Not happy with the shipping process, they are too late
- Important attachments are not added to the purchase, we bought them separately.
#5: California Air Tools (15020C) Air Compressor
Till this time, the air compressor we discussed here is stationary that is heavyweight, and can’t be easily moved. A single person can not take it out for any job or duct cleaning. We’ve to do some projects outside and these heavy-weight compressors are giving a tough time to us due to loading and unloading.
Our pneumatic experts were keeping their eyes on all air compressors in the market to dig out the best unit that can provide a high-pressure duct cleaning job and also move easily. We found California Air Tools (15020C) compressor a great unit for doing both operations perfectly.
The air compressor comes in a horizontal shape with two tires attached to the back side. A handle is provided on the front side to move the compressor and because of its less weight of 90 lbs as compared to other, you can take it anywhere. As we keep going to different houses for doing some spray painting, nailing, and duct cleaning jobs, it proves a very handy unit to us.
With its high cfm airflow capacity, you can run heavy tools smoothly and also clean the duct easily. We’ve used this compressor for almost 8 months and shared our whole experience below.
This is a great addition to our air compressor collection list. As our main purpose to use this unit is for cleaning the ducts along with the portability feature, we first tested removing the dust from vents. It is easy to move, so you can place it near the duct opening and get the job done, this way you can also save your cost.
No doubt, for larger ducts you need to extend the hose but with portability, it lessens the length. For example, if your stationary compressor is placed on the second floor and you have to clean first-floor ducts, it requires more extension. When the machine is moveable you can easily take it to the first floor and clean the ducts without spending more budget on extending the hose.
To begin the cleaning we attached a rotary brush machine to the hose and put it into the duct, then turned on the compressor. Its starts cleaning with a combo of high air flow that removes the whole dust from the ducts.
For knowing its exact performance we’ve calculated its noise levels and temperature. The noise we recorded on the sound meter is on average 71 decibels, it is the quietest unit as compared to others on the list. The unit does not get warmed even after running for long hours, so no need to worry about the motor getting bad.
When the first time we run this compressor, we noticed there are some leakages. To check the exact leakage area, we poured some water on every fitting of the device. Luckily, there is no leakage on any fitting of the machine. Another thing that we loved about this compressor is its oilless operation. It is oil free tool and you don’t need to change its oil after months. This will also reduce your tool maintenance costs.
Having this product is worth it and you can easily do all types of jobs with its help. You should go for it.
What We Like
- Good pressure
- Ultra-quiet working
What We Don’t Like
- Can’t operate multiple tools at a time
Ultimate Buying Guide to Choose Best Air Compressor For Cleaning Ducts
Everyone needs to find a product that run for long years because those tools that start malfunctioning after some month are not considered to be a good build quality product. Especially, you should take care when buying a big compressor, and it’s your right to know every good and bad thing about the tool.
Always go for a product that can run for a long time and require less maintenance so you can do all desired jobs with it.
As we are concerned here with the duct cleaning so we need high pressure, high cfm, and a big sized tank air compressor that is hard to move here and there. You will find these big-sized compressor mostly heavy weight that needs more power to move to another place. For those folks who want a tool that can clean ducts and should be movable, we’ve mentioned California Air Tools (15020C) compressor that can do any job perfectly.
PSI & CFM
PSI & CFM are the two factors that decide the working of an air compressor is good or bad. Cleaning ducts is not an easy job and demand strong airflow that is capable of throwing tons of dust from the vents. According to our HVAC specialist, your compressor should have 175 maximum pressure, and an airflow of 15 to 40 cfm is needed to do better duct cleaning work.
The higher the cfm and psi, the quicker you can clean the ducts. The compressor that we mentioned here, all of them can provide 175 maximum psi and cfm rates. We are satisfied with their working if you too then must go for one of them.
For duct cleaning purposes we need a high gallon tank that can store maximum pressure so we can quickly do our job. Smaller tanks can’t easily able to do this work because after every 10-15 minute job we again need to refill it and that also wastes a lot of time.
So, that’s why our expert recommends having a big gallon tank to do the work more quickly and smoothly.
Horsepower is the unit of power that is a very important factor for an air compressor. If it is high it means we can do duct cleaning more quickly and if there is less horsepower then it will take time to make pressure and for cleaning. A high horsepower motor can help to do the job more quickly and can through dust from the vents with more power. You should go for a compressor with high horsepower that also saves your system from overheating.
There are limited types of compressors that can do duct cleaning and if they are a bit loud you should ignore them. Because you are unable to find other tools that can do the duct cleaning job perfectly. We’ve filtered the whole market and found the best one for you. The air tools that we listed here work quietly and don’t produce too loud noise while running.
Warranty is another important factor that should be kept in mind while buying an air compressor. If you have a long-time warranty then during that duration if any problem occurs with the compressor it’s totally free to replace or repaired by the company.
So, you should go for those air compressors that have a longer warranty. We recommend that you should go with a warranty of at least 3 years.
Comparison of 2 Best Picked Air Compressors
This comparison of 2 products from the list will let you know which is more efficient, in price range, run for a long time, and is beneficial for you.
Industrial Air 60 Gallon Air Compressor
This is the first favorite product of our experts on the list that has successfully done the duct cleaning job. It is heavyweight but a great purchase if you want to do multiple things at a time. This unit provides a high amount of pressure that helps us to run any kind of air tool. You will also get free repair whenever the tool malfunctions. On every point, the compressor will benefit and that’s why we kept it at the 1st number.
California Air Tools (15020C)
Most people like a portable machine and they are searching for a moveable air compressor that can also clean ducts. So, this model that we tested above is a great option. You will get maximum pressure, high airflow, a quiet job, and no oil benefits from this unit. As we have tested it by cleaning ducts and found that there is no competition with this portable compressor. You must go for it!
You have read about all the compressors that we mentioned about and got their benefits and deficiencies. Keep in mind, that you should completely inspect the product before purchasing. We’ve given a detailed idea about choosing the best compressor for cleaning ducts. According to our expert team, you can go for Industrial Air (IV5076055) Compressor which is a durable and worthy option.
Thanks for reading this guide, if you have any questions regarding this topic, ask us.
Can duct cleaning make you sick?
The most careful step you should take before cleaning the duct is that, cover your whole face with some clothes or a mask. It will help to save you from bacteria or any other particles entering your body and also prevent you from becoming sick.
Do I really need duct cleaning?
If you have health issues like asthma and breathing problems then you should concern about your house’s heat and making ducts cool. Even for a normal person, it becomes hard to breathe when your home ducts are filled with dirt.
So, must pay attention to cleaning your ducts after every 12 months. You can also do it after every month which helps in keeping your home’s environment super fresh.
Do duct cleaners need access to all vents?
Inside your duct, there are contaminants and bacteria particles that can be harmful to your health. When you close up all vents it helps to clean and remove all contaminants inside the duct which remove harmful bacteria from your house and make your environment inside the house better.
So, in this way, it helps to keep you healthy.
How much does duct cleaning cost?
According to us, the cost of duct cleaning can be done at an average rate of $400 to $800. There are different rates that you can get for cleaning ducts in your area.
But, why haven’t the air compressor that can do multiple works for you including duct cleaning, tire inflating, operating all air tools, pressure washing, inflating pool floats, balls, and, much more. It is a great suggestion from us to have at least one compressor in your garage that can perform your small and big tasks.
Will duct cleaning remove mold?
Molds ruin the beauty of any house and disturb human health as well. It continues to grow especially in the ducts when you haven’t paid attention to cleaning them for a long time. A lot of buildings and factories have also molds grown in every single corner. To deal with this situation a high-pressure air compressor is used that kicks the mold out from the ducts and makes the environment healthier.
Will duct cleaning improve the airflow?
Over time when we ignore cleaning the duct, due to this reason, the amount of dust particles increases, and the air quality becomes bad.
So, we have to perform this job at a specific time interval and it will help you to increase the quality of air. When ducts are cleaned, there is no barrier like debris left for air, the air can flow freely in all parts of your home.
Will duct cleaning improve air conditioning?
The air quality may become worst if we don’t remove dirt from the vents. The temperature will also increase due to that dust, and it directly maximizes the power consumption of your air conditioner.
As we already have cleaned ducts of fully air-conditioned homes and observed improvement in the air quality and it reduces power consumption too.
Will duct cleaning help allergies?
If we do not clean the ducts of our home on time the chances of allergy may increase, especially for those people who quickly get allergic to dust. So, try to remove excessive dust from the vents after every 10-11th months.